MAAA Wingspan

16 17 Young gun Balint Banko will be the first teenage Australian to fly high at the FAI F4 Scale World Championships in Norway, achieving an amazing milestone for the sport of aeromodelling. The event will be held at Jarlsberg Airsport Center, approximately 90 km southwest of Oslo. Balint, a 16 year-old, from Victoria found his passion for flying model aeroplanes just a few years ago. The teenager has excellent hand skills and now his interest includes working on his models as well. After being nurtured and supported by the PDARCS Club in Victoria, Balint was asked if he would like to join in on some local scale competitions. From showing some keen interest in competitions, he was invited to join the Australian Scale Aeromodelling team in the F4H category. Balint is one of two juniors at the PDARCS Club that has done a fantastic job supporting and setting the boys up with flying equipment. Balint’s friend Harrison Ritter, another young pilot, also shows great promise and has joined in some local competitions. Teammember and F4C competitor, David Law, said he is proud to have the teenager as part of the Australian team, creating a pathway for the younger generation to fly sky high in the sport. “It is important in all aspects of aeromodelling, that we encourage the younger generation to be part of our sport,” he said. “There were somany people, who as a boy, I looked up to. Sadly, most of those people are no longer with us. With Balint, our club has nurtured himand offered himadvice. The scale fraternity can now add to that knowledge by teaching himwhat we know. “If we don’t support our young pilots, it is possible in the next 20 years scale-building will die out because the skills will be lost.” The Australian Scale teamwill consist of eight competitors, ten supporters and two helpers. Alongside Balint being the first youngster to be part of the Australian team, Melissa Law will be the first female Australian/World competitor (We will learnmore about Melissa in the next edition of Wingspan). The event will take place from July 25- August 2. “A lot of our members have been pushing hard to keep the building side of modelling alive,” said David. Young aeromodeller “Balint is a treasure to the sport, the younger generation, wemust guide and helpmodellers like him. “Balint joined our club a few years ago, and he’s got the bug. It will be exciting for our discipline as well as Australia to have him compete in Norway in July. “If you are a young modeller or someone who wants to get into the sport, have a look at your state association, social media for speciality aeromodelling groups, or visit your local club and draw on as much experience as you can fromolder members. Balint will do well in the sport because he is surrounded by experienced people who are willing to help him in any way.” Part of the criteria in F4H and for juniors to compete in the championships, is that they have to at least detail and paint their scalemodel. David and some of the scale teamhave looked around Australia and found a P-47 Thunderbolt for Balint to purchase - the perfect model for himas he already has one he can fly for practise. Balint will be able to detail the new model and paint it in a new colour scheme of his choice. “Now we are ramping up our practise and Balint will learn his routine,” said David. “He’s only been in the hobby for a few years as amember of the PDARCS Club in Victoria. After showing a great interest in scalemodelling his mother Kristina, asked if he could attend the world championships as a supporter. But, I thought we can go one better and have him compete in the junior section. “Balint is very lucky to receive somuch support fromhis parents as getting to the world champs is no easy task. “We will have the biggest flying teamwe have ever sent to the champs. It’s a great milestone for Australia and our sport.” We wish the Australian team the best of luck in Norway in July. You will be able to follow the progress of the team on the “Australian F4 Scale” page and “2020 Australian F4C/H Scale World Champs – Norway” on Facebook. WING SPAN FEBRUARY